how long till you're good? - page 3

With all the skills i have been taught in nursing school and limited opportunities to use them during clinicals, i feel somewhat intimidated by the prospect of using those skills when i become... Read More

  1. by   hapeewendy
    I've only been nursing for three years or so *graduated in 99* so I'm coming from kind of a new grad perspective of sorts..
    let me just say that the nurse I am now is so different from the nurse I was when I started working.
    Its not even just about the skills, I remember having to work on those when the opportunity presented itself.
    I can say that I have grown into a proactive patient advocate far beyond what I ever thought I was capable off, quite ballsy for my young age you might say!
    I am one of the few junior nurses on the charting auditing commitee and the education and practice council at my work, I am also currently in contact with the union to become a member of our unions excecutive council - not because I'm overly political but becaus I see a need on my unit for increase education about OUR rights as nurses and I'm willing to dive in there , learn things and pass them on.....
    the skills come, the interpersonal stuff comes, but I think you will be surprised at how well rounded you become!
    keep the faith everyone! as someone who was a new grad not too long ago , I can say that I am confident and although every day is a learning experience I do feel as though I am competent and caring when dealing with my patients
    never pass up an opportunity to learn something or go to an inservice etc, I've been to 14 inservices and each one taught me something new!
    I only hope I will be as well rounded and awesome as all of the nurses I've seen post on this bulletin board, You are rolemodels to myself and many others so keep sharing that wisdom!!!!
  2. by   nurseguy74
    another thanks to everyone for their input......chris
  3. by   NICU_Nurse
    Did I learn what I needed to know in nursing school to do my job well? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I work in NICU, and we spent...oh...about a DAY (I exaggeate, but only slightly!) discussing NICU. Maternal/Child course did very little to help, I'm afraid...we spent more time on Maternal (L&D, Postpartum, etc.) and only two short clinical days in a level II nursery, and only 1 day in a level 1 nursery! When I started this job in January, I walked out for weeks and cried all the way home!!! ;>P Now, 10 months later, I don't feel the desire to vomit when approaching the doors to the NICU. Baby steps. ROFL I still suck at IV starts on these tiny babies, but getting better- I can get the catheter in the vein, but somehow manage to blow it 7 times out of 10. I am CONSTANTLY learning new things about the ventilators and respiratory care, as well as CONSTANTLY studying disease and physiology, trying to understand what is happening to my patients. However, I am effecient, organized, stay calm when babies are coding on me left and right, have learned more things than I can shake a stick at, and proudly admit that my knowledge is but a grain of sand compared to the knowledge of the more experienced nurses on my unit. I am ALWAYS asking questions of EVERYONE, and where this once made me feel stupid, now I eagerly do it in an effort to become more competent and more confident. I have become an advocate for many things that weren't being done regularly on our unit, such as kangaroo care, encouraging breastfeeding the preemies, co-bedding twins/multiples, infant massage, etc. I am a huge educator for the parents, I make handouts for the unit, etc. There are things I am spectacular at- the rest will come in due time. Looking back, I can confidently say that I knew virtually nothing- nursing school was but a tiny foundation for me and while it prepared me to some degree, my true education has happened in the last ten months. I thought I would never get over that feeling of being lost and drowning in a sea of knowledge that I couldn't quite grasp, but every single day I become more confident and I become a better nurse for my babies and their parents. The same will happen for you! Prepare yourself the best way you can, and then just give in to the flow of things. Be flexible, and be patient with yourself. Even the most experienced and knowledgeable doctors started out not knowing diddly. (I work in a teaching hospital- you can take my word on this!) Good luck!!!
  4. by   aus nurse
    We're meant to be GOOD? No-one told me!!!!!

    :chuckle Sorry, this from a nurse of 20 years...back to the serious answers.....................
  5. by   jnette
    Thanx Kristi... and EVERYONE else !!!
    These responses have been SO helpful. While I have worked with patients in many and various forms for the past 30 yrs.,.. the "real person" part doesn't worry or bother me. Nor do many of the procedures, because as a medic in the military, we did many things that some "civilian" nurses have yet to do. I think for me, the biggest hurdle will be knowing that suddenly I and I alone am RESPONSIBLE for my care or lack thereof. For my mistakes, for not "picking up" on certain things, like that "gut feeling something is wrong" that was mentioned above... I've always DONE things, and CARED, but most or ALL of what I provided was "delegated". While I always did my best and took a genuine interest in my patients and their care, that "fear factor" wasn't nearly on the scale it is now. Suddenly I find myself being the one to take full responsibility and having to account for my actions or lack of action.... SCARY !!!!!!!!!!!! Also, I always had someone to turn to if I wasn't sure about something, or could back away from a procedure I was not comfortable with, nor did I get real deep into knowing meds, their side effects, and all the really important things nurses MUST know before giving them, mixing them, adding them to what type of IV solution, etc. THESE are the things that scare me now ! I didn't HAVE to know THAT stuff before, and now I DO.. and there's no sneaking away from the responsibility now.. or conveniently passing it on to an experienced NURSE to save my own butt and that of my patient ! Now it's ME who has to make the calls, use my OWN judgement, and it's really pretty scary, let me tell ya ! But posts like these are helpful, and to hear you guys telling us we're not expected to be perfect right off helps sooooo much. But then again, I think "but yeah.. what about my PATIENTS? THEY expect me to be perfect, and RIGHTFULLY so" !!!! After all, they're putting their LIFE in my hands ! So I'm having to expect ME to be perfect because THEY are ! That's a heavy load ! Here I've finally achieved what I've wanted my entire life, and where I always felt so confident and knowledgable before, now I suddenly feel like I don't know SQUAT and worry constantly about not "picking up on something" I should have, not recognizing something I should have, perhaps not being able to answer the patient's questions as well as I should be able to (without running back to my books and looking it up).. etc., etc. Did you all feel the same way, and does that feeling EVER go away? SHOULD it even go away? If you get to a place when you feel really confident and in control, is that not a bad place to be, too? Too relaxed, and then BOOM!?

    So in other words, we have to live with this burden every day the rest of our lives, right? Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeks! I LIKE it, but I DON'T ! ... make sense?
  6. by   Aussienurse2
    I figure the day I think I know everthing about nursing is the day I'll quit, because you'll never know everything, and if you think you do then you become a danger to yourself, your patients and other staff members. This is why we work as part of a team, each one of us brings skills and knowlage to the group and this is what makes us so good at our jobs, and what makes this website a great place to be a part of.